Businesses Struggling to Find Workers as Government Doles Out Cash


Restaurants and small businesses are struggling to find employees as the government continues to provide so much financial assistance in response to the coronavirus pandemic that it can be more cost-effective for some to remain unemployed.

“Every small business and small restaurant is hurting right now because the government is paying people to stay home, basically,” Illinois restaurant owner Nick Morganthaller told WCIA-TV in Champaign.

“Staffing is impossible. It’s impossible to find anybody that wants to come to work,” he said.

Morganthaller, who owns two restaurants in Decatur, said that even though he has had ads out looking for employees for weeks, he hasn’t received many applications.

“The government has made it too easy, just basically all the stimulus money and then the extra money on the unemployment. And then extending the unemployment for people that have just been on unemployment,” he said.

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“They make more money to stay home than work.”

Leah Stukins owns a restaurant as well and has run into a similar problem as she tries to open a second one.

“We’ve placed a few ads on the internet and have not gotten a lot of responses, so we’re going to try a couple of other avenues and see what we can do because these are good positions,” Stukins said.

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This situation has placed a lot of pressure on the businesses and their current employees.

Morganthaller said his staff has to work 12- to 14-hour shifts just to keep the restaurants open.

President Joe Biden signed a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill on March 11 that provided significant financial aid for many Americans.

Under the American Rescue Plan, people who receive unemployment benefits are offered a new tax waiver on their first $10,200 of benefits.

The package also provides a $300 weekly enhancement that will be available until Sept. 6.

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Most Americans are also eligible to receive up to $1,400 in direct payments from the government.

“This historic legislation is about rebuilding the backbone of this country,” Biden said before signing the legislation.

“And giving people in this nation, working people, middle-class folks, the people who built this country, a fighting chance.”

The bill was passed into law without a single Republican vote.

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith